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Depiction of blue light irradiation and two ‘catalyst gears’ cooperating to enable a reaction. (Credit: Tsuyoshi Mita)
07 Feb 2023
Two catalysts working in tandem enable inexpensive formate salts to perform difficult dearomative reactions, giving products potentially useful for drug development.
06 Feb 2023
Researchers led by Osaka University used cryogenic electron microscopy to analyze the atomic structure of the centromeric region of the chromosome, essential for cell division. A protein called CENP-A marks the centromere; the researchers showed that during interphase, CENP-A is bound by a protein called KNL2 to maintain the location of the centromere. During mitosis, KNL2 is replaced by CENP-C, allowing correct formation of the kinetochore complex for cell division.
06 Feb 2023
Researchers from Osaka University expanded the synthetic toolkit for preparing valuable chemical precursors from renewable feedstocks. They used microwave irradiation to dramatically improve the selectivity of the formose reaction, forming a simple six- and seven-carbon mixture that can be readily purified. These findings will help the chemicals industry minimize the use of fossil resources and improve the sustainability of manufacturing processes.
JWST pinpoints the ‘invisible’ engine that powers the galaxies in the middle of a collision
03 Feb 2023
Researchers used the James Webb Space Telescope to identify the precise location of a powerful energy source hidden by cosmic dust in the luminous merging galaxy IIZw096.
03 Feb 2023
Traditional hydrogen peroxide production is energy and emission intensive, and so scientists have sought to synthesize it electrochemically. But tailoring the cobalt-nitrogen-carbon (Co-N-C) catalyst has been challenging. Using a theoretical prediction, which was then experimentally verified, an international research group has designed a Co-N-C catalyst that alleviates this problem.
 Close up of the semi-automated synthesis robot used to generate training data (Photo: ICReDD).
03 Feb 2023
Researchers used a chemical synthesis robot and computationally cost effective A.I. model to successfully predict and validate highly selective catalysts.
02 Feb 2023
Researchers from Osaka University have used single carbon atom doping to form four chemical bonds in one step. Gamma-lactams (cyclic molecules that are common in antibiotics) were easily synthetically accessible from alpha, beta-unsaturated amides (an important molecule in cancer progression). The team chemically modified an anti-seizure medication in 96% yield, highlighting the work's utility to otherwise synthetically complex aspects of pharmaceutical development. The results of this work could become foundational to drug discovery and development.
02 Feb 2023
Blocking an immune-regulating protein reverses the damage caused by acute and chronic kidney disease, a preclinical study suggests.
The fluorescent blinking of cyanine dye (Alexa Fluor 647, pink star) bound to RNA changes depending on the structure of the RNA. When the RNA is folded like a hairpin, the fluorescent blinking is fast, and when the RNA switches to a G-quadruplex, the blinking is slow (Akira Kitamura).
02 Feb 2023
A new microscopic technique allows for the real-time study of RNA G-quadruplexes in living cells, with implications for the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
01 Feb 2023
Osaka University researchers investigated the physics of laser-driven neutron sources, and found the relationship between the power and the neutrons generated. They were able to decrease the exposure time needed for neutron absorption experiments, which may be employed in biomedical research.
31 Jan 2023
The study is an important step towards the understanding of long-term changes in the water cycle and will aid in more informed decisions when assessing and managing regional water systems.
A process of continual learning for a synthetic multi-label dataset
31 Jan 2023
A research group at the Osaka Metropolitan University Graduate School of Informatics has developed a new learning method for artificial intelligence that combines classification performance for data with multiple labels with the ability to learn continually from data. Numerical experiments on real-world multi-label data indicate that the new method outperforms conventional approaches. The simplicity of this algorithm makes it easy to integrate it with other algorithms to devise new ones.
Drilling the ice core
31 Jan 2023
Data stored in ice cores dating back 55 years bring new insight into atmospheric levels of a molecule that can significantly affect weather and climate.
31 Jan 2023
Researchers from Osaka University have shown that a system known as the GET pathway is essential for efficient mitophagy, the process by which mitochondria are removed from cells. The GET pathway targets a protein assembly called the Ppg1–Far complex, which inhibits mitophagy, to the membrane of a part of the cell called the endoplasmic reticulum. When the GET pathway is defective, this complex instead becomes targeted to mitochondria, where it acts to suppress mitophagy.
30 Jan 2023
Researchers from Osaka University compared the sensitivity of rapid antigen tests (RATs) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for the Omicron variant of COVID-19 using data produced by the Japan Professional Football League. They found the comparative sensitivity of RATs for Omicron was not affected by the duration from the onset of symptoms to testing.
30 Jan 2023
Everyday electronics, such as our phones, employ surface acoustic wave devices for frequency filtering and sensing. But this consumes a lot of energy, serving as a drain on battery life. Now, a team of researchers has developed a new acoustic waveguide based on the mathematical concept of topology, which will help alleviate this problem.
The back-projection analysis of seismic P-waves revealed correlations with eruptions observed by satellite (Kotaro Tarumi, Kazunori Yoshizawa. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. January 15, 2023)
27 Jan 2023
A “back-projection” technique reveals new details of the volcanic eruption in Tonga that literally shook the world.
27 Jan 2023
New research found that periodontitis, a common gum infection known to worsen other systemic diseases, could also be linked to atrial fibrosis — potentially clarifying its previously unknown connection with atrial fibrillation.
25 Jan 2023
Researchers from Osaka University have identified a protein, FER1L5, that is essential for sperm to acquire fertilizing ability. Sperm from mice lacking this protein were unable to undergo the “acrosome reaction”, which releases molecules that facilitate fertilization, resulting in impaired male fertility. As FER1L5 is also present in human sperm, this work may lead to new diagnostic methods and treatments for male infertility in humans.
24 Jan 2023
Osaka Metropolitan University scientists have succeeded in synthesizing fumaric acid, a raw material for plastics, from CO2 powered by solar energy—for the first time. Typically, fumaric acid is synthesized from petroleum as a raw material to make polybutylene succinate, a biodegradable plastic, but this research shows that it can be synthesized from CO2 and biomass-derived compounds using renewable energy.
24 Jan 2023
Researchers from Osaka University created a bound state of a proton and a K- meson known as Λ(1405), and measured its mass. The data implied that it consisted of five quarks. This work may help scientists develop a theory of exotic matter that existed in the early Universe or in neutron stars.
Schematic illustration of the spin transport demonstration of αNPD molecular thin film
24 Jan 2023
A research group, at the Osaka Metropolitan University Graduate School of Engineering, has succeeded in measuring spin transport in a thin film of αNPD molecules—a material well-known in organic light emitting diodes—at room temperature. They found that this thin molecular film has a spin diffusion length of approximately 62 nm, a length that could have practical applications in developing spintronics technology. In addition, while electricity has been used to control spin transport in the past, the thin molecular film used in this study is photoconductive, allowing spin transport control using visible light.
23 Jan 2023
New research from Osaka University indicates that more screen time at age 2 is associated with poorer communication and daily living skills at age 4—but when kids also play outdoors, some of the negative effects of screen time are reduced. Increasing outdoor play time could reduce the negative effects of screen time on daily living skills by almost 20%.
The new squid/synthetic polymer double-network gel
20 Jan 2023
The natural abilities of squid tissues and the creativity of chemists combine to take hydrogel research in new directions.
19 Jan 2023
Imagine if your t-shirt could take your sweat and analyze it for health abnormalities. Well, this is much closer to reality after a recent breakthrough by a research group led by a Tohoku University assistant professor. The group created the first microelectronic fiber with microscopic parameters that is capable of analyzing electrolytes and metabolites in sweat.
19 Jan 2023
Controlling a material’s thermal conductivity can help insulate our homes, improve the performance of electronic devices, conserve power consumption in cars, and generate greater power efficiency. Now, a group of researchers has unveiled a novel mechanism that leads to further suppression of thermal conductivity in thermoelectric materials, something that will help develop new guidelines for producing high-performance thermoelectric materials.
The rocket carrying the experiment module being launched to carry out microgravity experiments (Photo: Swedish Space Corporation).
13 Jan 2023
Understanding how dust grains form in interstellar gas could offer significant insights to astronomers and help materials scientists develop useful nanoparticles.
13 Jan 2023
Magnesium hydride has long been touted for its potential to store large amounts of hydrogen, something essential if hydrogen is to play a role in powering a sustainable future. Yet, sluggish dehydrogenation kinetics and the high temperature required to decompose and produce hydrogen from the material have stymied its use. Now, researchers have identified why this is so, paving the way for future design guidelines and widespread commercial use.
Figure 1
13 Jan 2023
A team including Kavli IPMU has studied the relation between galaxy size and luminosity of some of the earliest galaxies in the universe taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, less than a billion years after the Big Bang.
13 Jan 2023
Researchers led by Osaka University demonstrated the role of endothelial cell-specific protein Roundabout4 (Robo4) in the reduction of vascular permeability and mortality in mouse models of severe infection. The research team identified a drug inhibitor that increased Robo4 expression and reduced mortality in sepsis and SARS-CoV-2 mouse models of infection. These findings may aid in the development of drugs to reduce the mortality rate of severe infectious diseases.

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